May 18, 2020

MIRO scientists develop quantum computing device using next-generation fibers

The instrument was designed and built in Chile by Chilean physicists and engineers from the Millennium Institute for Optical Research (MIRO) and from three Chilean universities, with the collaboration of international researchers. The work was published today in the international scientific journal ‘OPTICA’. 

While companies like Google or IBM have shown the first functional prototypes of quantum computers, with state of the art technology, enabled to process large amounts of data per second, a multidisciplinary team successfully developed a device of low cost but with high performance for use in optical communications, as well as quantum computing based on optical devices.

“We have a highly efficient device, which is manufactured by exploring a modern design for next generation fiber optics. Due to it's simplicity, it will be a milestone in the field of applied optics such as: communication, computing and metrology (high-precision measurements of physical phenomena) "says Jaime Cariñe, a MIRO researcher.

This device has extraordinary potential, its technical name is "Multiport Beam Splitter", "which is not actually a quantum computer, but it could be a very important component of one. Its function is to couple and process signals with high computational performance, ”explains the professor Cariñe, from the Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción.

Huge possibilities

The development of this component opens the door for efficient applications in different research fields, such as information security: "it is capable of protecting common files such as text, keys and videos, providing unconditional security given by the properties of quantum mechanics. This aims to improve the protection of highly reliable wire transfers where inviolability of the keys is required. ”says Cariñe.

For Gustavo Lima, Research Director, academic of the Department of Physics and Mathematics at the University of Concepción and associate researcher at MIRO, the applications of this device are widespread in applied optics “It has direct implications in Lottery and online gaming companies, where the Privacy of the generated numbers is guaranteed by the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics, which is why we have patents in preparation for lottery applications based on these devices", he notes. 

The discovery was made possible by several years of effort, in which we tried to find practical methods to better exploit the multidimensional nature of light for information processing. Since we wanted to focus on this platform, with the current telecommunications infrastructure”, said Stephen Walborn, a MIRO member and professor in the Department of Physics and Mathematics at the University of Concepción.

In addition to doctors Lima, Cariñe and Walborn, the work included to Aldo Delgado, Nayda Guerrero, Tania García, and Luciano Pereira from the Universidad de Concepción, Gustavo Cañas, from the Universidad del Bío-Bío and Miguel Solís Prosser from the Universidad de la Frontera, Guilherme Xavier  from Linköpings Universitet  in Sweden; Paul Skrzypczyk, from the University of Bristol in England; and Ivan Supic and Daniel Cavalcanti, from the ICFO (Instituto de Ciencias Fotonicas) of Spain.

The study “Multi-port beamsplitters based on multi-core optical fibers for high-dimensional quantum information” was published in the scientific journal OPTICA of the Optical Society Publishng (OSA).

The original publication can be found in this link:

April 22, 2020

MIRO researcher publishes a Perspective article about Molecular Polaritons

Strong light-matter coupling with quantized electromagnetic fields is at the forefront of experimental and theoretical chemical physics research. Felipe Herrera has recently published a tutorial-style Perspective article in The Journal of Chemical Physics to introduce the field of "Molecular Polaritons" to the broader physics and chemical research community.

The article is written in collaboration with Jeffrey Owrutsky from the US Naval Research Laboratory, and overviews recent experimental and theoretical developments on strong and ultrastrong coupling with electronic and vibrational transitions, with a special focus on cavity-modified chemistry and infrared spectroscopy under vibrational strong coupling. Several opportunities are suggested for further studies that may lead to novel applications in chemical and electromagnetic sensing, energy conversion, optoelectronics, quantum control, and quantum technology.

The article is open access and can be downloaded at

April 22, 2020

MIRO researcher discovers a novel light source in optical fibers

Two-dimensional arrays of coupled waveguides or coupled microcavities allow us to confine and manipulate light. Based on a paradigmatic envelope equation, the Lugiato-Lefever equation, researchers from the Nonlinear Optics group headed by Marcel Clerc have shown that these devices, subject to a coherent optical injection, support coexistence between coherent and incoherent emission. In this regime, they show that two-dimensional chimera states can be generated. Depending on initial conditions, the system exhibits a family of two-dimensional chimera states and interaction between them. Two-dimensional chimera states are of spatiotemporal chaotic nature.

The results are published in Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, available at

January 17, 2020

MIRO student (USACH) successfully defends her master thesis

After successfully defending his master thesis entitled “van der Waals interaction between Rydberg atoms and polar molecules”, Vanessa Olaya fulfilled all requirements to receive the MSc degree in Physics at USACH with the highest distinction. Vanessa will continue to work in the Herrera Lab at USACH as a research assistant, in preparation for graduate school applications in 2020.

The results of her thesis work are published in Phys. Rev. A 101, 032705, 2020.

Congratulations Vanessa for a job well done.

January 17, 2020

Marcel Clerc publishes a paper in Scientific Reports

Fragmentation followed by desertification in water-limited resources and/or nutrient-poor ecosystems is a major risk to the biological productivity of vegetation. By using the vegetation interaction-redistribution model, Marcel Clerc and his Nonlinear Physics group analyze the interaction between localized vegetation patches. They show analytically and numerically that the interaction between two or more patches is always repulsive. As a consequence, only a single localized vegetation patch is stable, and other localized bounded states or clusters of them are unstable. Following this, they discuss the impact of the repulsive nature of the interaction on the formation and the selection of vegetation patterns in fragmented ecosystems.

The potential applications of Marcel’s work for understanding droughts have been highlighted in local news outlets (in Spanish).

The results are published in Scientific Reports.

January 17, 2020

Stephen Walborn joins MIRO as Principal Investigator

We are glad to announce that Stephen Walborn joins the Millennium Institute for Research in Optics (MIRO) as a new Principal Investigator since January 2020. In December 2019, Stephen joined the Physics Department at Universidad de Concepción, after moving his Quantum Optics Laboratory from the Physics Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).

Stephen Walborn earned his undergraduate degree in Physics from Reed College (Portland, OR USA 1998), a master's degree (2000) and a PhD in Physics (2004) from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte, MG Brazil). He was first a post-doc (2004-2007) and then professor (2007-2019) in the Quantum Optics Laboratory of the Physics Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). In December 2019, he became faculty in the Department of Physics at University of Concepción. His research interests lie in the fields of quantum and classical optics, with an emphasis on quantum information, quantum entanglement, parametric down-conversion, non-classical states of light, and fundamental aspects of quantum physics. He has authored over 100 research papers. Dr. Walborn was elected as a young affiliate of the Academy of Sciences of the Developing World (TWAS) from (2009-2013) and as an affiliate of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (2014-2018). In 2015 he was awarded the Physics prize of the Brazilian Center for Physics Research (CBPF).

Link to Steve’s Google Scholar


Media enquiries:
Address: Instituto Milenio de Investigación en Óptica, Esteban Iturra s/n, Barrio Universitario,
Concepción, Chile.

Phone: +56 41 220 7213

Follow us